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  • 1. Advocacy in Action March 29 ACPTA Meeting
  • 2. Advocacy in ActionHow to Make Your Voice Heard With Your PTA With the Austin Council of PTAs At the Austin ISD Level
  • 3. What is advocacy? Why should I be an advocate? How do I get started?
  • 4. The focus today isLOCAL ADVOCACY AISD Public Input Meetings ACPTA AISD UpClose AISD Committees District Advisory Council AISD Board of Trustees
  • 5. AISD Public InputOpportunities Community Meetings Surveys
  • 6. ACPTAWith your PTA’s approval of a resolution, youcould bring an issue or concern to the ACPTAlevel for discussion and possible action http://acpta.txpta.org/
  • 7. AISD UpClosehttp://archive.austinisd.org/inside/initiatives/upclose
  • 8. AISD CommitteesStanding Advisory Bodies  Boundary Advisory Committee  Budget and Finance Advisory Committee  Community Bond Oversight Committee  District Advisory Council  English Language Learner Citizens Advisory Committee  School Health Advisory Council  Special Education Citizens Advisory committee  Strategic Compensation Steering CommitteeAd Hoc Advisory Bodies  Capital Improvement and Bond Planning Advisory Committee (CIBPAC)  Performing Arts Center (PAC) Task ForcePeriodic Advisory Bodies  Calendar Task Force  Citizens Bond Advisory Committee http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/advbodies/
  • 9. Previous Related Task Forces Strategic Plan 2010-15  Facility Master Plan Task Force  Community Committee on Neighborhoods & Schools  Facility Use and Boundary Task Force  Early Childhood Task Force  African American Quality of Life Task Force  Hispanic Quality of Life Task Force  Safety Task Force  Cultural Connections to Teaching & Learning Task Force  East Side Action Coalition Reporthttp://archive.austinisd.org/inside/initiatives/strategic_plan/relatedreports.phtm
  • 10. How could I get involved withan AISD committee? http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/advbodies/applic
  • 11. Welcome! Andrew Smiley, Chair, AISD School Health Advisory Council http://archive.austinisd.org/schools/shac/accompl http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org/about/staff
  • 12.  What if your PTA wanted to get involved with this issue? What could you do?
  • 13. Texas PTA Resolution:School RecessBecause Texas PTA has already taken a position on this issue with aresolution, your PTA has the “OK” to proceed in taking action!  Be it resolved that the Texas PTA and constituent associations recommend that Texas school districts develop policies for school recess that include unstructured outdoor play, unstructured indoor play for inclement weather days, educating students on safe playground rules, ensuring the safety of playground equipment and developing an adequate adult to student ratio that should not exceed one adult to 30 students, and  Be it resolved that the Texas PTA and its constituent associations oppose any child being refrained from school recess as a disciplinary measure, for academic reasons, or inappropriate classroom behavior.”
  • 14. 2012 Texas PTA Resolutions Strong school libraries Reduction in childhood obesity Violence prevention in schools Fine arts in the core curriculum Cement kiln regulationhttp://www.txpta.org/resource-library/entry/legislative-resolutions/
  • 15. In 2011, Texas PTA worked to:  Minimize cuts to funding for public education  Pass legislation to address bullying, including cyberbullying, in schools  Pass legislation to ban possession of K-2 or Spice, a powerful synthetic cannabis sold as incense  Maintain class size limits in grades K-4 and maintaining the parental notification requirement when a waiver of class limits is obtained  Maintain School Health Advisory Councils  Maintain Fitnessgram, although it was reduced  Maintain the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday http://www.txpta.org/legislative/
  • 16. Texas PTA Resolutions orLegislative Positions There is a process through which a local PTA, council PTA, area PTA or the Texas PTA board can submit resolutions or legislative positions for consideration by the Texas PTA convention body. The resolution or legislative position must have been presented to and adopted by the voting body of the submitting group. http://www.txpta.org/legislative/resolutions-and-positions/
  • 17. Criteria Each resolution or legislative position submitted to the Texas PTA is subject to consideration by a committee of the Texas PTA Board of Directors and must meet the following criteria:  Concern the program of the Texas PTA;  Be in harmony with national and state PTA policies - noncommercial, nonpartisan, nonsectarian;  Concern a matter of national or state scope, not merely local interest;  Request action that is both physically and financially feasible for the Texas PTA to undertake; and  State a position not previously adopted by the Texas PTA.
  • 18. Many topics can be covered by either aresolution or a legislative position; a resolution says, "We believe something should happen..." while a legislative position says, "We want a law requiring something to happen..."
  • 19. Your School’s CAC Because your CAC includes both school employees and parents, a recommendation through the CAC can be powerful. CACs can address a variety of topics, like school safety or new initiatives. http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/cac/index.phtml
  • 20. The PTA and/or the CAC areon board….now what?!It’s time to visit the AISD Board of Trustees andspeak during Citizens Communication!
  • 21. General Guidelines forCitizens Communication 2 minutes to speak Prepare handouts, like a letter describing the situation and the requested action The day of the meeting, you can sign up between 7:45 am - 4:45 pm in the Superintendent’s Office or between 4:45 pm - 7 pm in the Board Auditorium Because you’ve done all of your homework, you can say you are speaking “on behalf of” your PTA and/or CAC
  • 22.  Before you go, check out the board’s agenda so you know what’s ahead for the night and what time to expect Citizens Communication to start http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/board/meetings
  • 23. District Advisory CouncilAnother group you could share your position statement with is theDistrict Advisory Council. This could help raise awareness of anissue at the district level. The DAC provides review and commentof:  District Educational Program  District Performance  District Improvement Plan  Student Code of Conduct  District Staff Development Plan  Waiver Requests to the State  District Budget
  • 24. DAC Membership 68 total members 2 parents and 2 teachers from each vertical team Principals Employees Community & business representatives 2 ACPTA members 3 at-large members http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/dac/index.phtml
  • 25. Initiating An Advocacy Project An advocacy project is:  In alignment with Texas PTA purposes  Educational, promotes participation, or supports an adopted position/resolution regarding an issue  A collaboration for parents, schools and the community at large  Approved by membership
  • 26. Local PTA Resolutions If there is not a Texas PTA resolution or legislative position on the topic your PTA is pursuing and you are starting from scratch:  DO get approval of membership  DO adopt positions that benefit all and are not divisive to the association  DO NOT adopt a position that duplicates or conflicts with an existing position/resolution of Texas or National PTA
  • 27. Your Advocacy ProjectThings to keep in mind if you want to pursue a local advocacy project: How will this benefit ALL the children in your school? How are you going to keep your members informed? What if you need to change or modify your plan? What issues are important to your school or community?
  • 28. Have any of your schools adopted positions with your PTA or CAC and spoken before the AISD Board of Trustees?
  • 29.  We all need to learn how to be the best advocates we can be. Because you are a leader at your school, you already have a lot of tools and traits to be a successful advocate! You can also identify other volunteers who have these skills and recruit them to coordinate advocacy actions. It’s about more than your children’s school campus…..
  • 30. In fact, it is bigger than Austin ISD.The question really is:“How can you support the school district as a whole and potentially even public education in Texas??”
  • 31. The 2013 legislative session is coming at us fast!There are big issues to face: Budget School finance STAAR and end-of-course exam
  • 32. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Educate yourself about the issues Talk to other public education supporters about what is going on VOTE (at all levels)!! Stay tuned for updates from Texas PTA and ACPTA leading up to the legislative session Be prepared to take action during the legislative session (January – May 2013)
  • 33. What’s Next? Take a look at the some of the web sites mentioned in today’s presentation. Be on the lookout in the fall for more information about state legislative issues.“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” –Theodore Roosevelt
  • 34. Questions & Comments Casie Wenmohs ACPTA Legislative Coordinator ckw@austin.rr.com